By E. Wittig
The last autumn sign of the Western Zodiac is Sagittarius, the archer. Drawn in the stars as a centaur wielding a bow, the archer stands for adventure, independence, and honesty. Those born from November 22nd to December 21st are graced with the sign of the archer.
Ascella – The Sagittarius constellation holds the oldest named star in the night sky. Nunki is a Babylonian name whose meaning is lost to us, though it may refer to a sacred city. Other stars in Sagittarius include Ascella, the brightest in the constellation, and Kaus, a word meaning “bow.”
Bane – Greek mythology depicts Chiron as the centaur wielding the Sagittarian bow. While most of the ancient centaurs names may be left to antiquity, more options present themselves to the 21st century baby-namer. Centaurs have survived into modern fantasy, wielding such wonderful names as Harry Potter centaurs Bane, Ronan, and Firenze.
Elara – Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius and lord of the Roman pantheon. The huge planet hosts 67 moons, all with names relating to the mythical god. Callisto, Io, Adrastea, Leda, Elara, Isonoe, Arche, and Amalthea are just a few of these.
Ember – The fiery Sagittarius quite fittingly is the Zodiac’s final fire sign. Arabic names Niran, Nuri, and Nuria have fiery meanings. English has such choices as Brande and Ember. The unusual Greek Celosia means “burned” and Scottish Kenna, from Cináed, means “born of fire.” Literal translations of the word fire result in such names as Brande, Alev, and Ognés.
Iris – Purple of all shades represents the archer. Of all the colors, purple has the most bountiful supply of names. These shades often come from flowers, such as Thistle, Lavender, Mauve, and Orchid. Tyrian is the most masculine shade and may please Game of Thrones fans. The gender-neutral Plum is a striking middle name selection, while Veronica, Iris, and Heather suit those looking for more established choices.
Narcissa – A number of natural elements symbolize Sagittarians. Dandelion and Daffodil are the sign’s flowers, and for the brave at heart, baby names. Narcissa is a Greek name meaning “daffodil.” The archer’s stones are Turquoise and Topaz; the yellow of topaz shows off their sense of adventure.
Puck – Sagittarians are an independent crew. Perhaps the most free-spirited, adventurous, and fiery of the Zodiacal bunch, whimsical names are a defining feature. Nature names like Meadow, Almond, Tansy, and Catkin fit the bill. For a very literal approach, try Adventure or Puck.
Sanna – The Sagittarius will always stand up for their beliefs, honest and outspoken to a fault, names like Truman, Sanna, and the Hebrew Tam perfectly suit the archer. For fans of the Puritan naming style, Frank and Forthright will get across the meaning.
Saxton – While mythology proves a rich source of archers, from the Greek god Apollo to the Persian hero Arash, historical archers are less well-known. Doctor and outdoorsman Saxton Temple Pope has been called the father of modern bow hunting. A British soldier, Jack Churchill, fought in WWII with a longbow. And of course we have Robin Hood; while the man himself is fictional, the legend is a conglomeration of other great English archers.
Theon – Archers have always held a prominent place in fiction. Generally starring in fantasy novels, some of the most well known fictional archers have interesting names. The Hunger Games gives us a leading archer with the interesting surname of Everdeen; friend and fellow archer Gale Hawthorne features names from two current trends. A Song of Ice and Fire, another bountiful source of names, gives us Theon and Ygritte. Classical works give us Susan, Kili, and Tauriel.